Acre Gold is one of the newest precious metals dealers in the industry. Having been in operation since 2020, they've already attracted a large clientele. Rather than using a traditional business setup, they allow people to invest in gold on a subscription basis.
But not every customer has been satisfied, and there are some concerning red flags. Is Acre Gold actually everything that it claims to be?
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About Acre Gold
Acre Gold's premise is extremely simple. In fact, it might be one of the simplest setups in the industry. They've made the program as easy to use as possible, but that has eliminated some variety.
Traditional precious metals dealers will sell you gold and silver items based on the current market price. The investor gets to choose which items to buy and how much to spend.
Acre Gold is different. The company acknowledges that many people don't have enough savings to buy expensive precious metals. But there are plenty of people who want to invest in gold. Instead of requiring a lump sum of payment up front, Acre Gold helps people save up for gold.
Every month, you pay a set subscription fee of $50. That money accumulates in your account over time. When you've paid enough money to purchase a 2.5 gram gold bar, the company will automatically ship the bar to your house. These gold bars are the only investment option, so you don't need to struggle with complicated diversification.
The biggest thing about Acre Gold is that it functions more like a subscription service than a precious metals dealer. You're subscribing to own precious metals as conveniently as possible. It's a choice that doesn't require much decision-making or prior investment knowledge. That can make it a less intimidating option for people who are new to investing.
There is a charge of $12 to sign up, but it's a one time fee. You'll also need to pay a small fee for handling and shipping. Your gold will be sent out once you have enough funds to cover both the gold bar and shipping.
About the Bars
The bars are specifically stamped for the Acre Gold brand. They come with the Acre Gold logo stamped on both sides. The front side also features the weight and purity.
When you pay $50 per month, you get 2.5 gram bars. You can pay $100 per month and get 5 gram bars in the same time period, too. The most recent option is to pay $250 for 10 gram bars.
You can't opt to get the 5 gram bars as $50 subscriber, or vice versa.
Each bar is made with 99.99% purity gold. The company focuses exclusively on gold and doesn't have any silver or platinum subscription options.
The bars are also sealed in a protective package. They include an authentication receipt from an appraiser. Every bar ships in its own high quality box, including a display drawer.
Is Acre Gold a Scam?
Acre Gold does not appear to be a scam. The company has a simple setup that aims to make precious metals investing easier. Some customers have praised the business model for helping them to start a precious metals portfolio. In addition, there have been reviews saying that the customers received the gold they paid for.
So Acre Gold does sell the 2.5 gram gold items that it claims to. And not every customer has had a negative experience with them.
Unfortunately, many have. Even though the business is not a scam, there are a shocking number of unsatisfied customers. Acre Gold has only been in business since 2020, and yet it has accrued 32 complaints on the Better Business Bureau. Customer reviews on the site are also mostly negative, with a few positive ones mixed in.
Because of the number of complaints, the BBB gives the company a C+ rating. Acre Gold is also not accredited with the organization. It's similarly difficult to find verifications through third parties like Trustpilot.
It does seem that Acre Gold has made an effort to respond to each consumer complaint. They have also responded to some of the negative reviews.
Let's take a look at some of the most recent issues that customers had.
Of the 32 complaints posted on the BBB website, a whopping 21 were related to issues with a product or service. Four were related to sales and advertising, four were related to problems with delivery, and three were related to billing problems.
Obviously we can't go through all 32 complaints. But we can look at some of the most recent issues.
Lack of Progress Reports
A complaint from January 11, 2022 was from a customer who said they'd been subscribed to Acre Gold for nearly a year. As part of the agreement, a progress report should have been sent along with every charge. This lets the customer know how close they are to earning a gold bar.
At first, the customer received these reports without issue. But there was a glitch in September that kept them from getting the report. The company fixed it for September, but the customer hadn't received any more reports since then.
The customer said that they had contacted the company multiple times to try to resolve the problem. But they were never given any help. Finally, they left a public complaint on Facebook. According to the customer, the company owner stated that the customer was a liar and blocked them from interaction.
The customer said that they wanted to be contacted by the business and to have the issue resolved.
The company responded to say that the customer had spoken to a customer service representative prior to the Facebook post. The rep explained that the customer's progress hadn't been impeded just because they hadn't received the report. The customer said thank you and then posted the Facebook complaint.
The person writing the response said that the customer had never spoken to the company owner. It was that specific person who had sent the customer their progress reports. They said that they repeatedly sent the progress report, but the customer accused them of lying, and then they spammed the Facebook page. This is what resulted in the block.
Apparently the customer spoke to another customer service rep after being blocked. At that time, they thanked the representative for sending a progress email. But according to the responding manager, the rep didn't have the authority to send that email. The customer had just found the emails that the manager had already sent.
Unexpected Auto Renewal
One customer filed a complaint in September of 2021 because of auto-renewals and incorrect charges. He said that he had been paying the $50 subscription for a 2.5 gram bar for about a year. Apparently he should have reached his goal three months prior, but the bar was never shipped.
The customer went on to say that he had been charged an automatic renewal for two $50 subscriptions. He did not want to continue subscribing to Acre Gold. He said that he wanted the company to mail him the gold he'd bought.
Apparently it had been impossible for him to get in contact with an Acre Gold team representative. He said that the website did not have convenient contact information listed.
The company responded to say that every subscription would auto-renew on a monthly basis. Despite the customer's apparent lack of knowledge of this practice, it was part of the subscription agreement. They said that the customer's first subscription had only crossed the threshold for shipping in September, not three months prior. The bar was due to ship at the beginning of October.
The customer's second subscription had been started a month after the first. He had not accrued enough money to purchase a gold bar on this one. The company said that they had sent the customer a total of 15 emails with information about his progress and subscriptions.
Another complaint from September of 2021 was related to shipping delays. This was from someone who had subscribed to the $100 tier and was supposed to receive a 5 gram bar after four months. At the time that they wrote the complaint, the shipping time had been delayed for six weeks past its original date.
When the customer talked to a representative on the phone, they were told that the problem was delays in shipping. The bars are all sourced from Switzerland. The customer said that other gold shipments from Switzerland weren't having any problem entering the country.
The customer believed that the company was making up excuses so they could delay the delivery on purpose. They also added that the company's Facebook page contained multiple similar complaints.
The company responded to say that on the day that the customer filed the complaint, they closed their account and received a refund. The company representative said that the issue was related to the international supply chain collapse that happened in 2021.
Many of the issues were related to the closure of seaports, which made it more difficult to export items.
There isn't much that the company could be expected to do about this. However, it does highlight a potential problem with their setup. They only sell stamped bars that are sourced from one place.
All of their inventory has to be shipped from another continent. If they sourced their bars closer to their headquarters, it's possible that they wouldn't have experienced as many supply chain interruptions.
The customer said that they didn't accept the response because the representative was rude. They also said that half of their refund was sent to an incorrect account, so they never received it. The company replied to say that that was an issue with the customer's bank, not with Acre Gold.
Pros & Cons of Acre Gold
Acre Gold is a newcomer in the world of precious metals. But the company has gained a large following because of its unique business model. By having people subscribe for $50 a month, they help more investors to purchase gold on the ground floor.
Their way of doing business is intriguing. And it might appeal to people who want to start a precious metals portfolio on a budget.
Unfortunately, though, there are simply too many red flags for us to recommend them. They have accumulated an overwhelming number of BBB complaints and negative reviews. In addition, they have no BBB accreditation and a low rating. Since they're a new company, they also don't have any longstanding industry reputation behind them.
Not all of the negative feedback has necessarily been Acre Gold's fault. It seems that their customer service team responds quickly to complaints and queries. However, some people have accused their representatives of being rude and sarcastic.
Customers experienced problems with delivery in 2021 due to issues with the supply chain. This was a global issue that affected basically every industry. But it might have hit Acre Gold harder because the company only sources their products from one place.
Some customers have said that they were blindsided by auto-renewals for their subscription, although the terms are written in the agreement. It's possible that Acre Gold could be more transparent about how and when their credit card charges are made. That would prevent a lot of the confusion and stress on the customer's end.
Even if you're not concerned about the negative customer feedback, there are other potential issues. You have to pay a one-time signup fee to become a member. There are other subscription-based gold services that don't have membership fees.
You are also limited by the simplicity of the setup. The only precious metals products available are Acre Gold's 2.5 gram bars. You can't buy coins, other bars, silver, platinum, or palladium. So if you want to purchase specific precious metals products, this won't be the company for you.
In keeping with that, Acre Gold doesn't have any precious metals IRA options. Their services are only for building a personal precious metals portfolio.
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